United Way of Central Ohio’s Celebration of Excellence Honors Organizations that Unite to Fight Poverty – Annual Campaign Raises $52.7 Million
United Way of Central Ohio recognized the outstanding campaigns of partner organizations at the annual Celebration of Excellence. Through United Way, these organizations improve lives, strengthen our community and help create pathways out of poverty for thousands of central Ohio residents.
Columbia Gas of Ohio received the highest honor, The Corporate Award of Excellence, which recognizes overall achievement in corporate and volunteer philanthropic efforts.
This is the ninth year that The Corporate Award of Excellence has been presented. Previous winners are Grange Insurance, American Electric Power (AEP) / IBEW Local 1466, Nationwide, UPS, Deloitte, Bruner Corporation, METTLER TOLEDO, and Ernst and Young.
The highest honor for United Way member agencies, The Agency Award of Excellence, went to Directions for Youth & Families. This award recognizes overall campaign excellence among United Way’s member agencies.
Janet E. Jackson, United Way of Central Ohio’s President and CEO, selected OhioHealth to receive the President’s Award, which goes to an exemplary campaign that went above and beyond in its support of United Way.
Janet Jackson also presented The Richard V. Carrick Award. Named for United Way of Central Ohio’s former Senior Vice President of Community Impact, the award recognizes a member agency for excellence in leadership, collaboration, and achievement. It is accompanied by an honorarium of $5,000 to support agency staff in pursuing professional and leadership opportunities. The award went to Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus for its longstanding commitment to helping youth succeed in school and life.
Awards for outstanding efforts in specific campaign areas went to:
- Best New Partner – Print Syndicate
This award recognizes an organization that has conducted its first workplace campaign this year, has incorporated model campaign strategies and has made United Way a part of its organizational culture.
- Engaged Leadership Advocacy – AEP – IBEW Local 1466
This award honors the CEO and management team who champion their workplace campaign by being proactive in continuous engagement with United Way and also encourage employees to donate at the leadership giving level ($1,000 or more per household per year).
- Corporate Philanthropy – The Motorists Insurance Group
This new award spotlights a local corporate partner that has gone above and beyond in its support of United Way and the community with its corporate giving, sponsorships and in-kind donations.
- Campaign Momentum – State Auto Insurance Company
This award honors an organization that has experienced significant growth by implementing key campaign strategies and increasing its engagement with United Way.
- Education Innovation – DSW
This award recognizes a company that creates the most innovative new campaign strategies and educates its employees on United Way’s work, through methods including group meetings, campaign publicity, agency tours and year-round communications.
- Employee Volunteerism – Grange Insurance
This award honors a company that provides volunteer opportunities on a year-round basis.
The awards were presented by Nick Akins, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Electric Power, who hosted the event; Jack Partridge, President of Columbia Gas of Ohio and his wife Anne, 2013 Campaign Co-Chairs; Janet Jackson; and C. David Paragas, United Way of Central Ohio Immediate Past Board Chair.
The Partridges announced that the 2013 annual campaign raised more than $52.7 million. These funds go primarily to investments in United Way’s work of creating pathways out of poverty by focusing on the areas of education, income, health and home. This result represents a 3 percent increase over the 2012 campaign total.
The Partridges also thanked Glen Skeen of the Communications Workers of America Local 4320 who served as 2013 Labor Co-Chair and will serve in the same role for the 2014 campaign. And they recognized the 2014 Campaign Co-Chairs, Nick Akins and his wife Donna.
The theme for the celebration was “Unite to Fight Poverty” in honor of the unprecedented effort that brought local media together to tell the stories of people who are succeeding in building pathways out of poverty with the help of United Way. The multifaceted event is estimated to be the largest and most successful media outreach in the entire United Way network.